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Coalbed Gas Development in Western Canada

William M. Laurin, Proceedings of 49th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2003)

Though the coalbed gas industry is in its infancy in Canada, there is every indication that Canadian coal deposits could have the potential to contribute significantly to North America's future natural gas supply. The legal and regulatory frame-work within which coalbed gas will be developed in Canada is also at an early stage, but is evolving rapidly. This article is intended to familiarise American legal counsel with the principal legal and regulatory issues that impact coalbed gas development in Western Canada, particularly in Alberta and British Columbia. When advising coalbed gas developers contemplating projects in Western Canada, it is critical that legal counsel appreciate the underlying legal and regulatory framework and how that framework differs from the jurisdictions in which the developer has operated previously.